Just Cause sequel promising as Avalanche rejoices

Just Cause sequel promising as Avalanche rejoices

By Rob Crossley

March 29th 2010 at 3:06PM

Studio head delighted with JC2 sales and scores

Swedish studio Avalanche has expressed its delight after new release Just Cause 2 shot to the top of the UK charts, as well as earning high review scores.

And the studio head Christofer Sundberg told Develop that people “shouldn’t be surprised” to hear an announcement of Just Cause 3 some time in the future.

“I think there are a lot of connections with [Avalanche and] the IP,” he said, “and so we hope there’s still a future in it, and that future to live as long as us.”

Sundberg explained how the Just Cause franchise is a big part of the studio culture at Avalanche.

“We are absolutely interested in working with the Just Cause IP again,” he said.

“I personally wrote the original pitch for the game in early 2003, so it’s something that means s lot for me and for the people in this studio.

“The studio lives and breathes the Just Cause franchise, and handing that over to another developer would spoil it. No one has the attachment to this IP as we do.”

In claiming number one in the ELSPA GfK Chart-Track All Formats Top 40 this week, Just Cause 2 proved Avalanche’s capacity to deliver big hits, sundberg said.

“We couldn’t be happier, it’s been amazing for us.
 
“As a studio we have proven that we can deliver what we actually say we can [laughs]. Also, for us it means a lot to succeed in this way, especially in terms of internal motivation with the staff, and the future of the whole studio.

“It shows that we are here to stay in spite of the last eighteen months, which have been a struggle.”

Here, Sundberg is describing the series of layoffs that the studio has issued amid growing money problems. It’s a situation which, finally, is coming to an end for the company as it returns to security.

“We have learned a lot during this year – we grew to 170 staff and scaled down from there,” he said.

“We now have a very reasonable staff size in terms of requirements, and we now have a core team who can produce quality and give each project the care it deserves.”

Sundberg added that he is not looking to grow staff capacity following the Just Cause 2 chart triumph – a situation that signifies how Avalanche is still aware of the unpredictable nature of the business, and indeed the vulnerable economy which has hit credit lines.

But ultimately, Avalanche has returned to stability, and the group is jubilant after receiving critical praise.

“Just seeing all those review scores coming in was fantastic – especially from the sites that scored the first Just Cause a little bit lower than we hoped,” he said.

“That’s the most satisfying thing for us, but we’re delighted also that the game got to number one in the charts in the UK. It was released on the Thursday last week, so it’s great that the game’s going so well.”

Just Cause was published by Square Enix under the Eidos label.